Most of us in Africa are tired of being dictated to by the Western powers, tired of the way they prop up corrupt elites who loot our treasuries and dump the money in their countries. We are tired of all their subterfuge and chicanery. We must, however, realise that, “our enemies’ enemy is not necessarily our friend.”
By now, most Africans not living in Zimbabwe have forgotten about the elections held in the country over a week ago. Even before the conclusion of the elections, that fraudulently returned an 89-year-old geriatric to power for the seventh time, was concluded Zimbabweans had started raising alarm about electoral malpractices.
The mere fact that the government did not allow the UN and other respected agencies to send monitors to the elections is suspect on its own. Mugabe assembled a group of people from the ‘old boys club’ of African politicians to rubber stamp his sham elections and hoped that his hatred of Western nations will unite the rest of Africa behind him and his strategy seems to have paid off.
The facts are there for all to see: Firstly, If Mugabe was a civil servant he would have been retired over fifteen years ago yet he still holds the highest public office in the land. Secondly, have those who are saying the Zimbabwean economy has picked up in the last couple of years considered the fact that it probably has to do with fact that the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai’s party, has been part of the government within the same period?
We covered a story on revelations that emerged from the Zimbabwean elections here after the ‘old boys club’ had endorsed the sham elections ignoring the cries of 7,000 local monitors who noticed that a significant percentage of those who voted for Mugabe’s party must have risen from the dead to come and cast their votes.
We don’t need to search far to point to examples of African freedom fighters who led their countries to independence and bowed out when ovation was loudest.
The example that readily comes to mind is Nelson Mandela, next door to Mugabe. The 95-year-old was in hospital recently and the whole world held its breath, praying to God to spare his life. Our guess is as good as yours what people want God to do to Mugabe.
Another example still within Southern Africa is Sam Nujoma, first President of independent Namibia who led his country to independence in 1990 and left office in 2005 after serving three terms. Namibia today enjoys political stability, peace and relative economic stability.
No one is saying Namibia is like paradise but her citizens fare better than Zimbabweans. For instance, In 2013, global business and financial news provider, Bloomberg, named Namibia the top emerging market economy in Africa and the 13th best in the world. Only four African countries made the Top 20 Emerging Markets list in the March 2013 issue of Bloomberg Markets magazine, and Namibia was rated ahead of Morocco (19th), South Africa (15th) and Zambia (14th). Worldwide, Namibia also fared better than Hungary, Brazil and Mexico.”
On the other hand, In Zimbabwe, Inflation rose from an annual rate of 32% in 1998, to an official estimated high of 11,200,000% in August 2008 according to the country’s Central Statistical Office.
Since the formation of the Unity Government with MDC in 2009, however, the Zimbabwean economy has been on the rebound. GDP grew by more than 5% in the year 2009 and 2011. In November 2010, the IMF described the Zimbabwean economy as “completing its second year of buoyant economic growth”.
It’s obvious from the statistics above that Morgan Tsvangirai brought positive economic development to Zimbabwe. Even without the revelations emerging about electoral malpractices it should be clear to everyone that Zimbabweans want a change from what they have been stuck with for the past thirty-two years.
As Africans we should examine the facts carefully before we choose sides and should endeavour to choose sides not with governments that come and go like the wind blows but the ordinary people of Zimbabwe who are just like us.